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Switch to Forum Live View a ramble about sharing my faith with others:)
7 years ago  ::  Dec 19, 2007 - 11:22AM #1
Feinics
Posts: 2,539
Recent topics thats floated around lately have really made me think about certain things within my life.  Its a bit of a ramble bear with me theres a point :) (i hope)

It concerns why i cant share, or dont feel comfortable with sharing my pagan path with people closest to me. While im aware not everyones interested in discussing religious or spiritual things and this path is a daily part of my life so I dont hide it, I just dont pronounce it to all in sundry at every opportunity. If im chatting to a friend online or on the phone then they ask what im upto ill say im just floating around the net looking at pagan sites. I may get an odd glance looking up something on the net or the books on the shelf in my room i never got a bad reaction.

I thought it was a good sign that I trusted in my friends to able to casually mention it occasionally and not get a negative reaction but after a long time I find it odd that I have never once been asked a question about paganism or my path. I can talk to my closest friends about anything else and Ive no problem with being asked personal questions so I wondered why is this huge part of my life and who i am never addressed by anyone?

Why did it bother me to get no reaction then a negative one? A negative one I can at least address but its almost the dismissive nature of getting no reaction from people important that bothers me.  I dont need validation of my faith from them nor do I mind keeping parts of my life private but yet it still bothers me.

At first I thought, well Ive always been nerdy and loved learning and Ive been actively searching my faith and paganism since early teens but other people havent been doing this and have no interest in this path. And its not unusual that people in their 20/30s would rather discuss new jobs,  going out drinking, boyfriends, girlfriends,   the new house they bought etc etc..
But while I could rationalise this for more casual friends it just wouldnt fly with my closest friends. Ive have indepth talks with those friends who enjoy a good discussion like my self:) about politics, the economy, even christianity,etc  I realised the few times when its its been relevant that ive brought paganism or something such into the conversation its been brushed aside, swept aside so subtley it never bothered me cos im not gonna push a topic people dont want to discuss.
But now its clear that in some way my friends must be uncomfortable with this subject matter despite the fact its always relevant and never shoved down their throats.

So my point or rather a question is,
Should I be happy that I have friends that will be around for the heartaches andnew jobs and that will put up my idiosyncrisies - as they treat my pagan leanings
and save my pagan topics for, that commonly used phrase, "like minded folk"
or
should it bother me that I cant share the joy, learning and intrigue that I get from paganism
and only sharing what ive learnt in a round about way so as not to upset the boat. I thought i wasnt discussing it  because religion or faith  was subject matter not everyone likes to discuss or is bored by. But now I have to be honest and ask myself am I censoring myself more then Id like to admit?

Sorry this was quite a ramble. Anyone have any insight or similar experiences?
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 19, 2007 - 1:11PM #2
Ixacacau
Posts: 18
I can only speak from my own experience.  I have friends of all ages and all walks of life.  Most know that I am not Christian.  Many know that I am Pagan.  Some know that I am a Witch.  I discuss spritual topics with whomever wants to do that but I don't shout my beliefs from the rooftops.  When it comes up, it's because it's just the natural flow of conversation.

Some of my friends are just naturally more oriented to the discussion of spirituality and I have those types of conversations with them more often.  Some of them are Pagan and some are not.  Some of my friends are more oriented to other topics of conversations.  Since I'm a person of wide interests, I enjoy whatever topics come up in conversation with my friends.

BTW,  my Pagan friends and I talk about all kinds of things, as well.  Right now, we seem to be focused on trading recipes...probably my fault, since I'm making a cookbook on the computer.
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 19, 2007 - 4:23PM #3
tameless_heart
Posts: 2,084
ince I don't have any pagan friends in real life, and the friends I have aren't the spiritual sort for teh most part, we don't talk about those matters at all. As my father always says don't discuss religion and politcis with close friends if you plan on stayign that way. He says he same thing about lending money too....
Boards like this are an outlet for spiritual discussion I can't get anywhere else. I'm not a normal 21 year old myself. I don't drink or smoke or have a boyfriend. It doens't bother me, but its u to you whether it bothers you. If it does, try making some pagan friends in real life and see if that makes a difference.
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 19, 2007 - 6:54PM #4
Dromahair
Posts: 559
People also have this amazing ability at selective hearing - or perhaps "selective interpretation" would be a better term for it.

They hear what you say and run the words through two filters.

The first filter is their world view.

The second is their expectations of you or your behavior.

What comes out is a result that falls within their expectations.


I've been very open about my beliefs for YEARS but had close family members who hadn't a clue.  How could this be?  Because first it wasn't something they'd ever really encountered before.  And secondly because I've always had very eclectic interests - and things I said that might otherwise have been dead giveaways were instead filed under the category: He Has Odd Tastes.  :)

So it's possible that it's nothing to do with folks being uncomfortable with the topic and more to do with them having a sort of unintentional selective blindness.  At least, that has been my experience.
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 19, 2007 - 7:00PM #5
tameless_heart
Posts: 2,084
YOu know...Drom, maybe that's whats up with my family...a huge trunk full of candles and shelves full of books on the subject...you'd think they'd have figured it out by now. :P
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 19, 2007 - 7:06PM #6
Feinics
Posts: 2,539
thanks for the replyin to my ramble everyone:)

Selective hearing would be nice but isnt that still insulting that it becomes nothing more then part my quirkiness:)
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 19, 2007 - 7:12PM #7
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,776

Feinics wrote:

thanks for the replyin to my ramble everyone:)

Selective hearing would be nice but isnt that still insulting that it becomes nothing more then part my quirkiness:)


Does not sound good, but maybe they are just shy about things they are un sure of. They care about you but are shy about things like a faith the is totally unfamilar.

I have very few friends, and those I have Most know, and really have no interest, One studied a little, One is occasionally curious, but not really.  The other is Xtian aand I dare not tell her she would never speak to me again. SHe has erronously come to the conclusion I believe as she does. (wishful thinking.) I have never said one way or the other, and she just wants to believe. Why destroy her idea We only see each other a couple of times a year.

But back on topic. I would LOVE capital LLLL someone to chat with over a cup of Tea. But at present not able.

Now forgive my ramble I lost control of myself. But like I said maybe they are just a little scared, but if that is the case they will come around someday. If not, I do not know.

Be cheery You are a really great person!:)

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 19, 2007 - 10:44PM #8
Dromahair
Posts: 559
[QUOTE=Feinics;151628]Selective hearing would be nice but isnt that still insulting that it becomes nothing more then part my quirkiness:)[/QUOTE]

If "selective interpretation" is the culprit then it's not even really showing up on their radar.  You could be insulted by a perceived "lack of interest" I suppose - but I don't know that that would be fair.  Everyone IMO wears these mental blinders when it comes to friends and family.  It's just that we usually don't notice until it's you who is not being seen clearly.
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 20, 2007 - 2:10AM #9
Feinics
Posts: 2,539
very very true! I thinks its really the possability ive been censoring myself more then I thought thats really getting to me and that id sugar coated things to myself about i relate my this aspect of my life to my friends. Further thought is needed i thinks!
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 20, 2007 - 8:47AM #10
Whisperingal
Posts: 25,009
Lots of good ideas here.

I'd like to add that a lot of people are afraid--at some level--of what they don't know agout or understand.

Add to that the fear of sounding "stupid" when they ask a "stupid question" and you have a situation with people who care about you but know nothing about your path and are too uncertain of themselves to ask.

Sending good thoughts your way.
WGal

And if I may--a possible reason for why this bothers you--if you're relatively new to your path you may have hidden doubts or uncertainties about it. So that any indication from anyone that there's "something wrong or odd" about your path raises those doubts in you.

IMO if people stay on their own path long enough--no matter how different it is from the paths of those around them--they come to a point where they know what is right for them and they don't really care--at any level--what anyone else thinks.

Be patient with yourself and accept your own feelings--whatever they are--as valid and real.
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